Family

[3.0] Scoob! marks the first time Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang have been brought to life via computer animation, which is a great way to reboot a classic franchise. The film starts with a 10-minute origin story of how Shaggy met Scooby, and then how the duo teamed up with Fred, Daphne, and Velma while trick-or-treating (Velma’s costume is awesome). We see them solve …

[7.0] Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) directs this family drama/comedy about a widower, played by Matt Damon, who buys a rural home that comes with a rundown zoo. Damon and his two young children help the ragtag team of zoo keepers, led by Scarlett Johansson, to bring the zoo up to code so that it can re-open to the public — and along the …

[5.0] If I were a kid in the 1950s, I probably would have loved Fearless Fagan, the story of a circus performer (lanky Carleton Carpenter) drafted into the army with nowhere to leave his pet lion, Fagan. He sneaks Fagan onto army training grounds and manages to keep him a secret until Janet Leigh shows up as a song and dance girl who accidentally stumbles …

[6.0] Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, and John Howard star in this second, decidedly more comic installment of what would become Universal’s Invisible Man franchise. Howard plays a rich playboy looking to settle down with the right woman, while Barrymore plays the inventor who lives next door, benefiting from Howard’s financial generosity. When he’s ready for a test subject in his invisibility experiment, Barrymore puts an …

[4.0] In one of Disney Animation’s weaker efforts, a jealous butler seeks to do away with a mother cat and her three kittens before their owner can bequeath her fortunes to the furry little bastards. I can’t blame him, really. The cats are annoying, snobby little characters with sticks so far up their asses, they are incapable of exuding much charm or engendering much sympathy. …

[6.5] Errol Flynn stars in his most enduring performance in this romantic action adventure that has captured audiences of all ages for more than three-quarters of a century. You know the story: In the absence of King Richard, Prince John seizes control of the land and taxes it into despair, causing a renegade Saxon named Robin Hood to come to the people’s defense, stealing from …

[3.0] Don Knotts stars in this allegedly spooky family comedy about a newspaper typesetter who spends a night in a haunted mansion and lives to report the tale. But when no one believes him and he’s taken to court, the judge orders Knotts to take him and the jury to the scene of the supernatural occurrences on a hunt for verifiable truth. The Ghost and …

[8.0] If someone is going to pick up Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved literary classic, dust it off, and serve up a retelling, let it be the Oscar-nominated writer/director of Lady Bird. Greta Gerwig is respectably faithful to the material, but bold in her decision to dice the story up and deliver it in non-linear fashion. In Gerwig’s adaptation, we experience the aftermath of the March …

[4.0] The Darling children — Wendy, Michael, and John — take a magical trip to Neverland with a hero only children can see or believe in: Peter Pan. Once there, they meet Pan’s Lost Boys, visit the mermaids, pow-wow with the Indians, and have a couple of entanglements with the dastardly Captain Hook. Peter Pan is not one of my favorite Disney animated ‘classics’. I …

[6.5] This American/Japanese animated venture would be the first feature-length movie journey into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Produced by Rankin/Bass (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Last Unicorn) and animated by the studio that would later become Studio Ghibli, The Hobbit is a brisk 77-minute adaptation that features many folksy songs and a notable voice cast led by John Huston as Gandalf. While it may be …

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